Of all the newsworthy stuff that came out of Tuesday’s football edition of the KSR morning radio show — and there was a lot — it is easy to overlook Vince Marrow’s comments about his tight ends.
In answering a call about having to replace the irreplaceable CJ Conrad, who is off to a fantastic start in his first summer with the New York Football Giants, Marrow suggested the next man up, Justin Rigg, can be just as good, if not better. He called Rigg, “your prototypical tight end.”
“Man, I love C.J. and he’s doing so awesome with the Giants, but I think Justin has the potential to be better than C.J,” Marrow said. “He’s a big blocker, he has soft hands, he’s athletic, he’s a basketball player.”
“And then you got Keaton Upshaw,” Marrow continued, going right down the tight end depth chart. “If you don’t know him, you’re going to find out real quick. He’s 6’6, 250, about a 4.65 (40-yard dash) guy, another basketball player; just a freakish athlete. I think people are really going to love him.”
“Then Brenden Bates, we got him from (Archbishop) Moeller, another traditional school, and he’s 6’5, 250.”
“Trust me,” Marrow told fans. “I coach that position. I am the least worried about that position. I think we are going to be very fine and these guys are going to do a good job for us this year.”
We’ll need to see it before we buy all the way into the Rigg will be better than Conrad talk, because Conrad is one of the best the school’s ever had. But in Rigg’s only full season so far, last year as a redshirt freshman, he flashed some potential with four catches for 45 yards, while playing in all 13 games with two starts.
Behind him, Upshaw and Bates will get their share of opportunities in their first full seasons as redshirt freshmen, although Bates saw limited action in two games last year. Another player that went unmentioned, incoming freshman Nikolas Ognenovic, will also be in the tight end room.